I last wrote about a crazy dream, and its aftermath in my adult life.
Then things got a little crazier.
On Halloween night, 25 hours or so after I posted that last post (although it is listed as October 29th), I saw a meteor streaking across the sky -- not high in the atmosphere, but low, across our backyard. I was looking out of the bedroom window, amazed, when it fizzled and the fiery trail ended in mid-air, ten feet or so above the ground at the edge of our yard.
I didn't find any space rocks the next morning, but I looked.
Also that next morning, another meteoric trail. My post! The views were skyrocketing, to heights previously unheard of with any other post I've written. As a matter of fact, put all the views together of every post I've written in the past year and a half, and the grand total would be miniscule compared to the numbers of views on this one post, on this one week, er.. 9 days now, since I wrote it.
Middle Son congratulated me when I had 40,000 views and the post was sitting on top of The Most Viewed list. He made sure I understood that "...those are just views, Mom. Maybe no one is actually reading all those words." Youngest piped up with, "It's probably not your writing really, it's that scary dream." A fellow Open Salon writer posted a logarithm of nonsense on why the Top Views are top views, a funny compilation that made me laugh out loud, even while I wondered if that was a reflection of how little my writing was worth, furthering my disconnect that something I actually wrote (*I wrote! *) was successful.
And what does successful mean for me, viral post views aside? I'd say at this point, success lies in the visceral sensing that I put my words together well enough to give moments justice, or in the comments and feedback from readers and from family and friends. I love that feeling of contentment with completion when I've fiddled with phrasings as much as I can bear, then possibly hearing from others who've connected in some way to my, so far, glimpses of life I've shared here. Other family members feel my success in writing will come when there are checks arriving in the mail, or I at least get the Tippem sign up.
When the numbers passed 100,000, then later, when my post had 100,000 views all in one day, I got nervous.
"Why am I nervous?" I wondered.
"Well, I'm not really a writer," I answered myself, "and regardless, this is a fluke."
My next thought was, "Well, I'd better celebrate, especially if this is a fluke."
So I danced.
No one home, none of our three sons, so no snickers...safe to dance.
When the views exceeded 200,000 -- the views on one post!! -- as they did a couple of days ago, I stopped and bought a cake, a chocolate cake, from the local bakery I've walked by and never entered before. I thought I'd celebrate with my family that night.
I also stopped for beer for Husband and ginger ale for me. I slowed down by the bottles of sake, I love sake, but sheesh. Best not. I know how Sake Girl gets. Then I bought myself flowers. I was ready to celebrate all this... More.
You see, somewhere along the line, writing has become something more. More than Mom's endless ponderings. More than hobby. More than scribbles. Something else. Even better, I've become More. (I sound like the Whos down in Who-ville...no, The Grinch, smiling a bemused smile while my heart bursts its seams).
I've earned or been given many titles in life so far, but Writer has not been one of them. The paradox of this last post that keeps surging with new batches of attention is that I have come to know that I love to write, no matter what, and that I will write: no views, one view, or over ...now 370,000+ views and counting....views that may or may not mean someone is actually reading, I keep reminding myself.
With celebratory supplies in hand, I drove home that evening a couple of days ago.... and entered a dark house. Youngest had left a note, he was spending the night away. Middle Son was working, Oldest now has a family of his own. Husband was unexpectedly working late.
I stood there for a moment, unsure.
I always celebrate with my guys...
I could wait....
But the celebrating couldn't.
I opened a ginger ale -- the fancy kind, made in small batches, stuffed with spicy ginger taste, and poured a champagne glass full. Then I pulled a plate out of the cupboard, a sharp knife from the drawer, and cut myself a fat slice of cake....just one slice, just for me. Some fine sounding music was put on, just my taste in music, all mine (that is a rarity around here). Then I started dancing again, but not the dance of the Mother I am. Not the dance of the Lover I am, either. Not Wife, nor Worker, nor House Keeper. None of those titles I have loved for ages and still do. Not Artist, nor Researcher, nor Childcare Provider, certainly Fashion Maven has long gone...not even Entrepreneur.
This dance was new.
I felt new, all alone in my house. When was I last alone in my house in the evening? No children needing me, no dinner needing to be made, no Husband to chat with, no phones to answer, no needs to attend to at all.
Just me, dancing.
A new Me.
Wanna' piece of cake?